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Corecell accuses PQube of failing to fulfill publisher payments

Update: Studio disputes publisher's defence, insists PQube has yet to return rights and claims it released PC version without permission

Update Wednesday, September 7:

Corecell has responded to PQube's comments with further allegations, disputing the publisher's defence.

"Despite what PQube said in the statement, the fact remains unchanged that: PQube has not yet paid us the agreed amount," the team wrote. "We have not received any revenue from PQube sales in EU stores. PQube did not return the publishing control in [Europe] back to us. There is consistency in the truth and confusion in lies."

The studio observed that PQube is still listed as the publisher for console versions, linking to the Xbox store listing, and further alleged that PQube released a PC version without its permission.

"The PC version [was] never in the contract. The contract says PQube have only the first rights to refuse if we make another platform."

In response to PQube's claims the developer did not address quality issues, Corecell claims it "always involve[d] PQube in the process of QA." The team also says it flew to the UK in January 2020 to resolve matters with the publisher, but PQube reportedly only offered to pay 20% of the amount owed – another factor in Corecell's decision to terminate the contract.

"We keep asking, begging PQube to return the game after we sent the termination letter," Corecell wrote. "We don't any money from them any more, just want our fans to get the new update, fix bugs, make any new content, and get revenue from Europe to support the team.

"PQube requests us [sic] to sign the addendum to give up the rights to sue them and keep secret of the matter. We reject to sign anything, because the termination letter is already in effect and if PQube continues to sell the game, it is criminal to our intellecutal property."

GamesIndustry.biz has reached out to PQube for further comment.

Update Friday, September 2:

The publisher claims that following AtereoBlade 2's release it had conversations with Corecell regarding updates. The developer agreed to addressing what PQube called "significant quality issues" that the game needed to be commercially viable.

It alleges that the updates never came and the studio became unresponsive. PQube said that it was still prepared to pay the full guarantee for the title.

The publishing firm explained that over the years it sent proposals and agreements to return the title's rights to Corecell. The company alleges that the studio didn't acknowledge them.

The rights to the console versions of AeternoBlade 2 were released before their agreement term ended.

"We have always strived to provide focus and commitment to maximise the results for our partners and to support them fully through all stages of the product life cycle. When challenges have arisen, as is inevitable over such a long period in the games industry, we have always sought to resolve them in a fair and reasonable way," PQube explained in its statement.

"We will continue to focus our energy on doing a great job for our partners. We continually work to develop and improve all aspects of our business and are fully committed to providing the best possible service and success for all of our partners."

Original Story, Thursday, September 1: Corecell, the studio behind AeternoBlade 2, has accused UK games publisher PQube Games of withholding funds that it's owed.

Corecell released a statement on Twitter that says the publishing company hasn't fulfilled obligations to pay a minimum guarantee in full.

The developer explained that its issues began after PQube published AeternoBlade 2 in 2019 across multiplatforms.

"We have been trying to resolve this issue with PQUBE but were unable to reach a solution, leading us to terminate the publishing agreement around September 2020."

"However, PQube has refused to return the publishing control on the console platforms back to us and continues to sell and take all revenues from AeternoBlade 2."

Corecell went on to add that as a small studio it didn't have the financial resources to pursue legal actions in another country --the developer is based in Thailand.

This allegation comes a week after PQube was accused of exploiting Toge Productions' and Mojiken's heritage for funding.

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Jeffrey Rousseau avatar

Jeffrey Rousseau

Staff Writer

Jeffrey Rousseau joined GamesIndustry.biz in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.